Travel

European Union drops mask mandate for flights and airports

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Terminal 1 at Frankfurt Airport in Germany on March 15, 2022. Photo by Boris Roessler/picture alliance via Getty Images
Terminal 1 at Frankfurt Airport in Germany on March 15, 2022. Photo by Boris Roessler/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • The EU is dropping its mask mandate on flights and in airports beginning on Monday.
  • The bloc said it made the decision based on the lifting of restrictions and high vaccination rates.
  • Since peaking in late January, Covid-19 cases across the continent have declined. 
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

The European Union is dropping its mask mandate in airports and on flights beginning next week as Covid-19 cases across the bloc continue to fall. 

From Monday, it will no longer be required for passengers to wear face masks in transit, EU's Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said in a Wednesday statement.  

The EASA said its new recommendation comes in accordance with the lifting of restrictions across the continent, high vaccination rates, and levels of naturally acquired immunity.

"For passengers and aircrews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel," EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky said in a statement, adding that passengers should "behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them."

He continued: "And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby."  

Aside from North Macedonia and Andorra, most European countries have enjoyed a decreasing number of Covid-19 infections over the last two weeks, according to the latest Reuters data. 

Since peaking in late January, Covid-19 cases across the continent have continuously declined — aside from a slight uptick in mid-March — and sit at the lowest seven-day average since last fall. 

The EU is dropping its mandates weeks after similar rules fell in the US when a federal judge in Florida said they could not be enforced.

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